It’s all change at Wentworth Club, the one-time home of the Duke of Wellington’s brother-in-law and birthplace of the Ryder Cup. Owned since 2014 by the Chinese Reignwood Group, the castellated 19th-century clubhouse has undergone a £13m top-to-toe revamp, unveiled in time for this summer’s BMW PGA Championship, the flagship event on the European golf tour.
“The last two years have seen the most significant changes in Wentworth Club’s history,” says its CEO Stephen Gibson, having only last year overseen, in consultation with former world number one Ernie Els, a dramatic redesign of the club’s famous West Course.
Of the house’s renovation, project manager Steve Inwood says, “It’s a complete makeover. Every surface – floors, ceilings, walls – is different. The clubhouse has an iconic exterior and we have retained the building’s historic features while renovating its interior to provide members with the epitome of luxury and functionality.”
Philippa Thorp of Thorp Design in Sloane Street managed the architectural direction and interior design of the project, decorating it in cool pastels, beiges and heritage tones, with Italian marble on the bars and in the bathrooms, and carpets woven in China. The men’s and ladies’ locker rooms have had a complete overhaul, there are new steam rooms, a state-of-the-art gym and a wellness spa featuring products and treatments by Bamford and Natura Bissé. The new pro shop is a world away from the functional sport’s shop-like space of old, with a boutique vibe more akin to something you’d find on Bond Street.
Over in the club lounge, where morning coffee, afternoon tea and post-dinner drinks are served, the atmosphere is of a country-house drawing room and, along with the club bar, Burma bar, brasserie conservatory and two private dining rooms, is catered for by a team of 25 chefs.
Members of Wentworth can also enjoy the facilities at its “in town” property Ten Trinity Square, by Tower Bridge, with its Château Latour private club (Wentworth lays on Rollers to ferry members between the two properties).
The Reignwood Group ruffled feathers back in 2015, when it announced it would impose a £100,000 debenture on its current members and double annual family membership fees. But a fierce campaign against these plans saw Reignwood eventually back down. It must hope that the root-and-branch changes it has made to the clubhouse’s interiors are greeted, by contrast, with a chorus of approval.